By Myint Htwe (Hotel & Tourism), (Translation by: Khin Maung Oo (Tada-U))
From being conceived in a mother’s womb to their demise, it is “love” that a divine force is growing in us as time goes past by. Love makes everything before us beautiful and simultaneously peaceful. Devoid of love, our planet becomes a deprived one for us to live in.
Love is defined in many ways, thus love differs from each other, depending upon animate beings and inanimate things beloved. Love is a mentally sensitive feeling that comes from the inner heart. Though it differs from each other, such as parental love, fraternal love, romantic love, fondness toward one’s pets, favorite things or deeds or hobbies, there is an analogy with these different kinds of love. That is none other than Cetana / tendency to do with the intention of performing long-lasting benefits of those we love.
Among them, the most obvious kind is the spirit of encouragement toward sports we like, in watching international games & sports, if you ask me. When countries vie for a thing, men have a tendency to see their teams or groups defeat opponents, feeling chauvinism.
Out of filial affection, children want their parents to live in wealth and peace, as do parents toward their offspring to excel others, out of parental love. A citizen’s desire for his country to defeat its rivals in competing for a trophy is attributed to his excessive love toward his nation.
It is necessary for us to assess ourselves as to whether we have learnt to love our families, our wards, our townships, regions & state and our country in a rightful way. If we really do and implement what we want, with the spirits of sacrifice, rehabilitation and honesty, it is a sure thing that we will have development ranging from our family level to the level of the country. Provided that we are endowed with the virtues of effort, intellect & acquired knowledge and unswerving enthusiasm, we will surely reach our destination in a short period of time.
Though we are equipped with intellect, acquired knowledge and enthusiasm, voidance of our deeds or effort will not bear fruits of result for us as expected, or vice versa.
Our country naturally abounds with natural resources. Despite the fact that we possess these, due to the lack of abilities to apply intellect and enthusiasm or excessive selfishness, our country lagged much behind other ones without natural resources, which could manipulate intellect & enthusiasm rightfully, in our global village.
We need to review repeatedly as to whether we really love our nation, which mistakes we did, what we still need, what kind of changes we must do and how we will proceed. It will never be late for us to abandon our bad ideas and deeds.
As regards Myanmar tourism sector, the country has abundant natural resources, including snow-capped mountains in the far north and picturesque coasts and views in the far south, which are not yet ruined. High mountains covered with ice, falls, streams and springs, lakes & ponds of great beauty, rivers flowing beautifully along curved waterway, lime stone caves, thousand-year-long cultural heritages, different species of plants and animals, animals living in water, coral reefs, islands, customs, traditions and cultures of national ethnic people are gifts given by natural or tourism resources or natural characteristics.
Yet, due to needs in acquired knowledge and enthusiasm, we are not still in a proud situation, compared to other countries.
As described above, what we must review is to assess as to which mistakes we did, whether our hotels and air lines are giving pleasant services, whether our tourism industry have responsibility and accountability to the full.
On hearing about various news and information that globe-trotters desirous of visiting our country averted their trip programs from the original ones due to high prices and rental fees in transport and hotel room charges, we felt distress. Expenses for 4 night – 5 day – visit in our country is equivalent those for 8 night – 9 day-visit in another country, thus Myanmar tour programs turned to the countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and so on. Expenses for local tours are greater than those for foreign trips. Following averted tours to other countries by foreign travelers, aversion into foreign trips for local tours by our local people, our country lost the chance of earning foreign currency and its money went abroad as inflow money.
It is impossible to control prices as we are going under the market economic system. Had entrepreneurs performed their deeds fairly both for their own sakes and in the interest of others, it can change into the betterment. With the rising oil prices in global markets, they raise oil prices in the country, hence transport charges rose up, causing commodity prices to soar high. But, though global oil prices dropped local prices of transport charges and commodity prices which rose up with oil prices remained stable in a high position. It became a burden for consumers.
As regards this, Union Minister himself had ever adjusted over high prices, but it was not successful as hoped, as entrepreneurs were reluctant to follow the adjustment. Only if government, those from private sector, the people will co-operate with willingness not only in tourism but also in all economic sectors, will our all-inclusive implementation of our aims and objectives be able to be successful. Here, I used the word, “all-inclusive,” with great stress so that our State Leaders can notice to carry out the things to be done promptly.
During water festival period, hotel rents soared up more than two times the normal rates. In this ways, hotel rents rose up from $ 250 to $ 500 and above. More influx of visitors has been expected, but it they will not be able to come again.
How will we define quality tourist? Will we call quality tourists to those who are rich and capable of spending much? Will we want the said kind of tourists to visit us as frequently as possible, in case they had destroyed our cultural heritages, customs and traditions? As for me, I want to name a tourist who keeps travel ethic “Quality Tourist,” regardless of his volume of spending.
If and when this kind of Quality Tourist becomes the kind of Quantity Tourist, that is, tourist influx increases, I dare say our tourism industry will develop rapidly.
In reviewing influx of tourists in ASEAN Countries in 2016, it has been found that Thailand got 32.59 million visitors, Malaysia 26.76 million, Singapore 16.40 million, Indonesia 12.02 million, Vietnam 10.01 million, Philippines 5.97 million, Cambodia 5.01 million, Laos 4.23 million, Myanmar 2.9 million and Brunei 0.22 million respectively. At the countries with huge amount of tourist influx, tourism-related businesses see scenes of frenetic activities from dawn to late hours of the night, almost every day. At the sight of such a scene, I greatly felt sorrow for our country rich in natural resources given by the Nature.
Very recently, a Japanese woman named Ms. Yoshiko aged 83 visited Myanmar, remembering that she was well treated by Myanmar people on her way while retreating to Thailand on foot from Kalaw’s Japanese military hospital in Shan State, where she served for 3 years or so, due to the surrender of the Japan in the war
On arrival at Myanmar, she ordered her son to bury her cremation ashes at the foot of the pine tree in front of the Japanese military hospital (American Missionary School). In answer to her dying wish, her son, Mr Kazuhiro came to Kalaw to bury his mother’s cremation ashes when she died at 86. Though she worked for her Father Country’s sake in Myanmar, during her stay in Myanmar for 3 years or so at the time of Second World War, she had cremation ashes buried on Myanmar’s Land in remembrance of her gratitude toward Myanmar and Myanmar people. On seeing the event, I came to liken her gratitude toward Myanmar people as a stranger to our Myanmar jet set society who were born in Myanmar, lived in this country, lived on Myanmar’s food and exploited Myanmar’s mineral resources.
The big and shady tree with phenomenal branches cast a cool shade over travelers and passers-by under the tree. Had these travelers cut branches of the tree for the acquisition of their solitary shade each, we should note that the persons in question, the tree itself and their posterity will no longer have shade. All the travelers and passers-by who are taking shelter under it are responsible for conserving this tree for the survival and sustainable development of the tree.
Though we claim that we really want to take part in the task of developing the country through Myanmar’s tourism industry, we need to be well convinced as to whether we really love our country and how we define love toward the country. In finding out the solution as to why we lag much behind others, we find that insincerity on morality is the key point. If we really love our country, we must get rid of our evil spirits of pursuing a present-but-brief benefit. If we really love toward our country.
By Myint Htwe (Hotel & Tourism), (Translation by: Khin Maung Oo (Tada-U))